Notes on Peter Horan (Courtesy of Sligo County Council, 2005)
One of the most gifted and popular musicians of his generation has been honoured by Sligo County Council. Cathaoirleach Councillor Margaret Gormley hosted a special reception in County Hall for Peter Horan, which was attended by Peter’s family, friends and many admirers from the world of Irish Traditional music.
In her address, the Cathaoirleach noted that ‘Peter’s modest and unassuming manner should not disguise the fact that he is a master of his craft, who was entertained and captivated countless thousands of people over the years. The range and diversity of Peter’s musical talent includes a mastery of fiddle, flute and tin whistle. As a young boy, Peter would pack his tin whistle in his school bag before setting out for Killavil School. He would entertain teachers and fellow-pupils in the old school yard, and in so doing was following in the hallowed footsteps of another musical icon, Michael Coleman when the story of Irish traditional music in Sligo is told, Peter Horan takes centre stage.
He has taken his music from the quiet homesteads of Killavil to crowded venues in England and America. Peter is an inspirational presence in Irish music circles, and is welcomed with affection wherever he goes. After all these years, he still manages to reach out and touch new audiences with his music - only last weekend I heard him on RTE Radio, and I felt proud to hear the many genuine tributes paid to my friend Peter Horan.
Over the years, Peter has adopted his own distinctive style of playing, instantly recognisable by anyone with an ear for Irish music. While he is known and admired mainly as a performer, he is also very generous with his gift, and in his role as teacher he has passed on his love of Irish music to the next generation.
Peter, you are a true friend of Irish music, and have been a great ambassador for Sligo wherever you go. In honouring you this evening, we hope to convey a sense of the high esteem in which you are held by the people of this county, and I wish you many, many more years of health, happiness and enjoyment.’
The Cathaoirleach read out tributes from friends of Peter who were unable to attend, including Councillor Sean MacManus, Senator Labhras O’Murchu, and musician Matt Molloy.
The Chairman of the Sligo Branch of Comhaltas, Martin Enright, hailed Peter Horan as a ‘legend’ and commended Sligo County Council for honouring him in this way.
The evening concluded with an impromptu music session in the lobby of County Hall led by the guest of honour, Peter Horan.
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